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The Grand Drive-In Graduation of Riga Technical University (RTU), where about 1,000 graduates received diplomas, was celebrated with grandiose fireworks, musical surprises and a hat salute.

Despite the restrictions of Covid-19, an ambitious and epidemiologically safe celebration was held at Spilve Airport on the evening of July 17, honoring RTU graduates and academic staff. RTU chose the drive-in or car format so that after a year and a half of studies in a virtual environment, graduates could still feel a sense of community at least during graduation, even sitting in their cars.

This was especially emphasized by Anita Muižniece, Minister of Education and Science: «The university is an environment where knowledge, creativity, vitality and diversity of opportunities for shaping the future of oneself and society are concentrated. It is the best environment to turn dreamers into real doers. This year was full of challenges in Covid’s restrictive circumstances, but this graduation and its special format is a clear proof that RTU, its academic staff and students know how to use it to create new solutions.»

She also pointed out that RTU traditionally demonstrates high achievements in the study and research process, it is open to cooperation with industry and, consequently, «also the leading Latvian higher education institution in international university rankings. We are all really proud that in the latest QS ranking of the world’s higher education institutions, RTU is not only among the best 1000 higher education institutions in the world, but is also the highest-rated Latvian higher education institution. I truly believe that it is on its way to becoming the most highly regarded university in the Baltics as well.»

Academician Leonīds Ribickis, Rector of RTU, congratulated the graduates emphasizing: «You are special graduates, because you have mastered the theoretical material of studies, completed laboratory work, conducted research, written and defended graduation works in pandemic conditions. You have proved your perseverance, diligence, willpower, and I and all my colleagues are very proud and satisfied about it!» He reminded that the future is in the hands of graduates, urging them not to be afraid of it because the knowledge acquired at RTU is in demand in the labour market.

«The country’s growth is unimaginable without engineering minds. Everyone’s contribution is important in order to take advantage of today’s opportunities provided by technological development and the triumph of the digital age. It is equally vital to meet the challenges posed by climate change and the effects of global warming that we are already feeling on our skin today. Here, too, we can’t do without your knowledge,» said Artūrs Toms Plešs, Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, who is a graduate of RTU. He is convinced that RTU graduates will make a significant contribution to building a sustainable, prosperous and development-oriented future by creating innovations, creative solutions and ever new ways to explore the world around us.

The graduates were also greeted by supporters of RTU Grand Drive-In Graduation – the big friend «», supporters «Tet», «Bite Latvija», «Fiqsy» and benefactors «Skonto Group» and «Industry Service Partners».

«» awarded a scholarship to continue studies to Leonards Elksnis, a bachelor’s degree holder at the Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology (DITF).

«Bite Latvija» presented awards – powerful telephones – for good and outstanding achievements to two graduates of the Faculty of Electronics and Telecommunications (ETF): Rainers Leons Justs, a bachelor’s degree holder, and Armands Ostrovskis, a master’s degree holder. Greeting the graduates of RTU, Vladislavs Gurmans, a member of the company’s board, invited them to appreciate the acquired knowledge, which is at a high level at RTU, and the friends gained during their studies, who will be valuable business contacts in the future. However, most of all, he called for an appreciation of «having order in their heads» – a logical, structured way of thinking due to studies, which will open wide opportunities in the future whether the graduates will want to work in the ICT sector in Latvia or in the world, or start their own businesses.

The event was organized by the RTU Alumni Association, and this was the fifth Grand Graduation, when all RTU graduates received diplomas at the same time.


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